Purpose: The purpose of this document is to explain what Master Data Management capabilities are provided by Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Intelligent Data Management Framework. Please note that in the previous articles I described how to implement Master Data Management scenario for Microsoft Dynamics using Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Master Data Services.
Challenge: There is number of tools and services available for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 which have Master Data Management capabilities. The challenge is to understand usage scenarios and how to apply them properly. Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Intelligent Data Management Framework also has a notion of master data and it allows to replicate master data between production database and archive database. In this walkthrough we will explore how this correlates with Master Data Management scenario.
Solution: Intelligent Data Management Framework for Microsoft Dynamics AX lets system administrators optimize the performance of Microsoft Dynamics AX installations. The Data Management Framework assesses the health of the Microsoft Dynamics AX application, analyzes current usage patterns, and helps reduce database size.
Intelligent Data Management Framework for Microsoft Dynamics AX provides means for master data synchronization between production database and archive database. Using Intelligent Data Management Framework for Microsoft Dynamics AX you can’t truly implement Master Data Management scenario because Intelligent Data Management Framework operates with database tables and not business entities such as Customers and Products, however you can perform some critical administrative tasks related to master data
Please find more info about Intelligent Data Management Framework for Microsoft Dynamics AX here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh378082.aspx
Please also note that Intelligent Data Management Framework currently doesn’t support Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2. This support will be added shortly
Let’s provide some core definitions for Intelligent Data Management Framework
Master data synchronization is the process of replicating master data tables from the production database to the archive database. This process copies the master data tables from the production database to the archive database to keep them synchronized. These tables are not archived, meaning they retain their data in the production database after the records are copied to the archive database
Intelligent Data Management Framework considers all tables which belong to table group Group, Main, Reference or Parameter as master data. Please note that CustTable (Customer data) and EcoResProduct (Product definitions) tables have table group Main
Now we can install Intelligent Data Management Framework. And as soon as Intelligent Data Management Framework currently doesn’t support Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 (the error during Post-installation tasks execution prevents you from completing the installation) I installed Intelligent Data Management Framework on Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 FPK Demo VM (AX2012-A)
There’re couple of nuances during the installation which I highlight below
Welcome to IDMF (Beta) Setup Wizard
Please note that the installer is asking for MSDTC to be installed which can be done by Adding Role Services in Server Manager in Windows Server OS
Select Role Services
Please note that I selected “Distributed Transaction” Role Services for installation
Choose a Server Authentication Certificate for SSL Encryption
For the sake of simplicity I selected “Choose a certificate for SSL encryption later”
Confirm Installation Selections
Now we can install Intelligent Data Management Framework itself
Microsoft Software License Terms
Select Microsoft Dynamics AX version
Create new management database
Please note that brand-new database with name “IDMF” will be created by installer
Specify Microsoft Dynamics AX production database
Specify Microsoft Dynamics AX production replica database
In this instance in SQL Server Management Studio I simply copied (Copy database function) production database to create a replica of production database with a different name
Create new archive database
Specify e-mail settings
For the sake of simplicity I left them blank
Specify service account
Ready to install
Completing DMF (Beta) Setup Wizard
After installation is complete you will also need to run Post-installation tasks
Post-installation tasks – Error
Please note that you may face with “XPO import completed with error. Contact the administrator” error. In this instance I had to manually fix compilation error in Classes\DMTVirtualSummaryTrans\Methods\updateVirtuelTransferClosing method due to wrong number of arguments (Catch Weight qty argument specific to FPK build was not provided)
Now we can launch Intelligent Data Management Framework
In the menu bar you will notice number of places where “Master data” is mentioned
Schedule – Synchronize Master data
On Schedule tab Synchronize Master data function will allow you to synchronize Master data between production database and archive database
Administer – Configure Master data tables
On Administer tab you can click Configure Master data tables to decide which tables will be selected as Master tables for Synchronization of master data. By default, all tables in the master data tables list are selected. At run time, the master data synchronization schedule synchronizes all selected tables in this list, using the production database as the source database and the archive database as the target database. Clear the check box for a table to deselect the table. A deselected table is not considered a master data table and is not synchronized when the master data table synchronization schedule runs
On Analysis tab you will have access to statistical data for production database which provides important performance-related information about size of tables, fragmentation of indexes, etc.
Analysis – Analysis dashboard
Please note that before you will have access to Analysis dashboard you will have to generate Analysis snapshot of production database
On Administer tab when you click on Configure Master data tables you will get access to Data replicator section which lists all Master tables with extended details
Please note that CustTable and EcoResProduct tables are also listed in Data replicator section
As the result based on information provided by Intelligent Data Management Framework you will be able to analyze the health of the database, prevent performance degradation, do performance optimization, etc.
Summary: This document describes how to use Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Intelligent Data Management Framework for database administrative tasks. Intelligent Data Management Framework can’t be used for implementing Master Data Management scenarios per say, however the information provided by Intelligent Data Management Framework about master data tables will definitely help you to fine-tune performance of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 installation. Please review my other articles on how to implement full-fledged Master Data Management scenario for Microsoft Dynamics using SQL Server Master Data Services.
Tags: Dynamics AX 2012, Intelligent Data Management Framework, Master Data Management, Customers, Products.
Note: This document is intended for information purposes only, presented as it is with no warranties from the author. This document may be updated with more content to better outline the issues and describe the solutions.
Author: Alex Anikiev, PhD, MCP